This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading.
The Emperor Napoleon fondly said of Etienne Gerard "that if he has the thickest head he has also the stoutest heart in my army." This description accurately captures the self-described hero of eighteen gem-like short stories produced by Arthur Conan Doyle. Brigadier Gerard, a bombastic, heroic gascon hussar, doer of many improbable deeds, was an unimaginative man of small intellect, but brave and resourceful in a crisis. The shadow of Sherlock Holmes has for too long deprived the Gerard tales of their rightful place among the finest short historical fiction of their time.
About the Author
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for £25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed.
Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur -- he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War -- became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.
Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).
Date of Birth:May 22, 1859
Date of Death:July 7, 1930
Place of Birth:Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:Crowborough, Sussex, England
Education:Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885